Ford Endeavour – Size does matter!
19 February 2008
New engines, new exteriors, new interiors – Ford Motors could very well have given the new Endeavour a whole new name. The latest version of this bestselling premium SUV is not just a revision of its ancestry, but a different vision in itself. By Sourya Biswas.
American car manufacturers have, since time immemorial, had the dodgy practice of naming the same vehicle differently in different markets. General Motors leads the way, with so many of its products having so many different names in so many different countries (the so many 'so many's' were intentional), that there is a high probability of the next GM car suffering from an identity crisis. The other American behemoth Ford is no different – the Ford Ikon in India was actually a modified Fiesta hatchback, while the premium SUV Endeavour is known as the Ford Escape elsewhere in the world.
The Ford Endeavour was launched in India as far back as 2001, and did reasonably well in the hallowed world of premium SUVs. So, one may well ask the reason behind reviewing a vehicle seven years old, irrespective of any new bells and whistles that may have been added. The reason, simply, is that this is a brand new vehicle. Not only has it had a change of heart, literally, by incorporating a new 2.5L Duratorq TDCi engine, it has also got itself a new wardrobe. The result is a vehicle, which in the words of Ford's marketing team retains ''only 25 per cent'' of its predecessor's features.
In the season of makeovers of the more popular and cheaper SUVs like the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari, it is easy to overlook the action on the premium front. The ball actually started rolling with the launch of the new Hyundai Tucson, and this was closely followed by the revamped Honda CR-V and Suzuki Grand Vitara. The new Ford Endeavour only completes that pretty picture.
The new engine is definitely the USP of this new vehicle, but it is not the only SP. The exteriors have undergone a change too, though not substantial. The Endeavour has been based on the Ford Ranger pickup platform, and its lineage shows through just as distinctly as before. What have changed are the body cladding which is gone, wheels which are larger, headlamps that are bigger, a nose that is higher, a swell on the hood (stylishly called a 'power dome') which wasn't there, and an underbody cover which is a welcome addition. Some things like the leaf springs and prominent tailgate-mounted spare wheel of old still remain, but no complaints!
The two-tone exterior and cladding which defined the earlier Endeavour are now gone, and with it, a part of the machismo. But one can't really blame Ford for the clean lines now in vogue, considering that the Endeavour still retains a distinct SUV feel unlike the Tucson and CR-V which have taken their urban commute roles a bit too seriously. Thank heaven for small mercies!
While the exteriors have undergone only cosmetic surgery, the interiors have been subjected to a major bariatric procedure. They now fully justify the Endeavour's million-and-half tag and resemble that of a premium sedan. In a marked contrast to the earlier plastics of questionable quality, the new two-tone silver and black dashboard embedded with hooded dials and luminescent green needles lend a touch of futuristic class to the inner sanctum. The plush camel-brown leather upholstery and flip-and-fold adjustable seats, further reinforce the metamorphosis of the Endeavour's interiors.